Jan Lebenstein Exhibition June 5, 2020

June 5 at 18.00 we invite you for the on-line opening of the exhibition of Jan Lebenstein.

The exhibition Jan Lebenstein 1930 – 99 is intended as a comprehensive retrospective of the works of this outstanding Polish artist, coinciding with the 90th anniversary of his birth. As part of it, various works of Jan Lebenstein, belonging to the collections of Polish collectors: Maria and Marek Pilecki, Urszula and Piotr Hofman, and a collector from Sopot are presented. Treating the artist’s creative path and figure in a multi-faceted way, the exhibition contains 70 of his works: oil paintings, gouaches, drawings and graphics from various periods of his activity. The whole aim is to present the artist’s work as one of the most important figures in Polish art in the second half of the 20th century. The exhibition was organized by the State Art Gallery in Sopot and prepared for presentation at the Kielce Culture Center of the Modern Art Gallery “elevator” in cooperation with the Zegart Agency.

Jan Lebenstein – painter and graphic artist, book illustrator, known and highly valued, not only in Poland. In the years 1948–54 he studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, under the supervision of Artur Nacht-Samborski. From 1960, he lived and operated in France, where he achieved international artistic success. Cultivate an original variety of figurative painting, use abstract and surreal elements. Created fantastic works, filled with human-animal motifs, full of expression and symbolic poetry. He spoke about his work in one of the interviews: My paintings are emotional metaphors. Their participation is to impose on the viewer, emphatically, but without a cheap scream, the used emotional drama, which I try to show using a spontaneous metaphor.

Jan Lebenstein (Brest Lithuanian 1930 – Kraków 1999) in the years 1948-1954 studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw under the supervision of prof. Eugeniusz Eibisch and Artur Nacht-Samborski. In 1955 he took part in an exhibition at the Warsaw Arsenal. Friend while studying with Miron Białoszewski, he showed his first solo exhibition in 1956 at the Teatr na Tarczyńska. In 1959 he won the Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris at the 1st Youth Biennale in Paris and this year he moved permanently to Paris. After a series of “sketched figures” (on graph paper) and “hieratic figures” from 1955-1958, he paints a series of “axial figures” (1958-1962), which he exhibits in Paris and the USA. At the same time, in 1960, he began drawing “subscriptions”, a kind of diary that would provide motifs used in the paintings in the future. In the years 1964-1965 he painted “Bestiary”, a series of invoice, archaized creatures reminiscent of prehistoric excavations. Immediately after them, he introduces into his paintings human figures and fantastic, depicting scenes not mythological, nor dreamlike, often saturated with eroticism. In 1970 he designs stained glass for the Center du Dialogue in Paris. In 1971 he receives French citizenship. 1974 gouaches are created, inspired by George Orwell’s Animal Farm. In 1976-1989 he created exclusively in the gouache and pastel technique, taking up mythological and Bible-themed topics: cycles of illustrations to the Book of Job (published in 1979) and to the Apocalypse (published in 1986) in new translations of Czesław Miłosz. In 1989 he returns to oil painting (“Pergamon” series). The artist received, among others the Foundation’s prize Alfred Jurzykowski in 1976, the Award of the Museum of the Archdiocese of Warsaw in 1985, the Award of Jan Cybis in 1987

Detailed information coming soon.




Opening Ours



Tuesday - Friday







Kielce Cultural Center

Plac St. Moniuszki 2b

25-334 Kielce

woj. Świętokrzyskie